HC Deb 23 July 1970 vol 804 cc740-1
34. Mr. Wyn Roberts

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if, in view of the hardship caused by increased bus fares to parents of schoolchildren travelling less than two miles to school in the case of children under eight years old and less than three miles in the case of children over eight years old, she will take steps to abolish the limits on free transport for school children, particularly in rural areas.

Mr. van Straubenzee

Local education authorities already have discretionary powers to provide free transport for children living within the statutory walking distances.

Mr. Roberts

I thank my hon. Friend for that reply, but is he aware of the anxiety caused to a growing number of working mothers, especially since the introduction of British Standard Time?

Mr. van Straubenzee

I am aware of the problems and of my hon. Friend's concern about them, which was evidenced in our proceedings last week, but on the specific point which he raises I draw his attention to the latitude which is available.

Mr. Edward Short

Will the Government give an undertaking that they will not increase the charges for school transport?

Mr. van Straubenzee

That does not arise out of this Question.